Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, has said the Federal Government is finding it difficult to stop the amnesty programme initiated for ex-militants in the Niger Delta.
He, however, maintained that there was no going back on the 2015 terminal date for the programme, stressing that failure to draw the curtain on the initiative could bring about instability in the region.
The Presidential Amnesty Proclamation was initiated by the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009.
Kuku said, “We are currently battling with exit strategy challenges. It will be in the best interest of Nigeria for government to terminate the programme by 2015. If it is not closed by 2015, it will lose its taste. This is because it will become an alternative government in the Niger Delta region.”
Kuku, according to a statement by the Amnesty Office on Wednesday, as a guest lecturer at the 7th Business Law Conference of the Nigeria Bar Association’s session on Business Law in Lagos, urged governors in the region to commence youth engagement programmes that would create empowerment opportunities for the ex-militants in their respective states.
He said the inability to secure jobs for the ex-agitators that had been trained in many technical areas relating to oil and gas may portend more danger for the region. He said these youths might be tempted to eke out a living from illegal sources.
Kuku added that the gains of the programme could be eroded if the Federal Government failed to close the programme by 2015.